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Could the Orioles find in-house replacements for Trumbo and Wieters?

Could the Orioles find in-house replacements for Trumbo and Wieters?

At least eight Orioles are likely to make more than $10 million next season, and if the team somehow re-signs both Mark Trumbo and Matt Wieters, which now seems unlikely, they’ll have 10.

Chris Davis ($23 mil), Adam Jones ($16.33 mil.), J.J. Hardy ($14 mil.) Ubaldo Jimenez ($13.5 mil) and Yovani Gallardo ($11 mil.) are guaranteed to be 10 figure guys. Zach Britton, Manny Machado and Chris Tillman all figure to cross the $10 million threshold since they’re arbitration eligible. 

Combine Wade Miley’s $8.92 million, Darren O’Day’s $7 million, and the Orioles would be obligated for perhaps $125-$130 million. 

Some of Davis’ and O’Day’s money is deferred, but it’s hard to see how the Orioles could re-sign both Wieters and Trumbo without significantly surpassing their approximately $150 million payroll in 2016. 

The biggest question this offseason will be, how will the Orioles replace both Wieters and Trumbo.

Wieters and the Orioles put the replacement question off for a year when they offered, and he accepted their qualifying offer. 

That won’t happen again this year, not with catcher-hungry teams already lining up to sign the most accomplished in a poor catching market. 

Trumbo’s power is likely to generate some major offers, too. 

The Orioles could go in-house with replacements. 

Trey Mancini is the most obvious alternative, and manager Buck Showalter will have to be convinced that he’s ready to be a major contributor at designated hitter next spring. 

Last spring, Mancini stayed at first base while Christian Walker was tried in the outfield. Walker’s numbers didn’t earn him a callup, but he’ll get another look in the spring if he’s not packaged during the winter. 

Mancini’s arm wasn’t judged to be strong enough to play in right field, and he’s not going to dislodge Chris Davis from first base. 

But, Mancini’s bat has members of the Orioles organization excited. He was added after Steve Pearce was lost for the season, and hit three home runs in five games. 

Mancini’s minor league resume is an impressive one. He has a .306 average. In 2015, Mancini led the Eastern League with a .359 average, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 57 runs in 84 games for Double-A Bowie. 

This year, he began the season with the Baysox, and hit .302 in 14 games before a promotion to Norfolk, where he hit .280 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. 

Mancini did strike out 140 times in 142 games, but showed decent plate discipline with a .349 on-base average. 

If Mancini could replace Trumbo, could the Orioles also have a catcher to replace Wieters? 

Chance Sisco’s supporters in the organization point to his bat as evidence. 

He has a .323 average in four seasons of minor league ball and an outstanding .402 on-base average. 

In 2014, Sisco hit .340 at Delmarva, .308 at Frederick in 2015 before he was sent to Bowie, and .320 with the Baysox this season. 

Sisco’s defense is the big question. While his bat has played everywhere, it would seem difficult for a catcher to make the transition to the big leagues without any real Triple-A experience. (Sisco did play four games for the Tides at the end of the season.) 

Triple-A is full of pitchers who have major league experience, and it might help Sisco to have some time at Triple-A in 2017 to work with some of those pitchers. while the Orioles use perhaps a placeholder to pair with Caleb Joseph. 

At last Thursday’s season-ending news conference, Dan Duquette spoke about the depth of catching in the Orioles organization, citing not only Sisco, but Francisco Pena, who backed up Wieters after Joseph suffered a testicular injury as well as minor league catchers Audry Perez, Alex Murphy and Yermin Mercedes. 

MORE ORIOLES: Orioles begin search to replace Wallace

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

USA Today Sports

Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm